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This week's blog comes from first time Yoga Living Project guest writer Sheila Olson who has a few words of wisdom to share about how to manage daily routines, fitness goals, and accountability to those schedules. She also dives into how not to overdo it which most of us in this day in age could stand to benefit from. As always if you are interested in guest writing for YLP please send me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

Balancing Fitness, Self-Care, and Life

Finding balance in life is easier said than done. Some weeks, it feels like the work never ends and you can hardly catch your breath, let alone find an hour for self-care. And at rare other times, you have so much free time that you whittle it away rather than making the most of your day. No matter what your schedule looks like, it’s important to care for your body and mind. If you can’t seem to find the time for fitness and self-care, it’s time to make changes.

Know Your Goals

What are your fitness goals? Do you want to lose weight, improve your functional fitness, or beat chronic pain? What about your goals for self-care? Self-care helps you reduce daily stress, be more patient and present with loved ones, and get in touch with your passions. While incorporating fitness and self-care into your life is sure to bring a variety of benefits, knowing your personal reasons keeps you focused and motivated despite life’s distractions.

For some people, the goals are highly personal. Fitness and self-care are commonly used by people in addiction recovery to heal the body from the damages of substance abuse and empower the mind to overcome cravings and negative ruminations. If you’re in addiction recovery or coping with another major life challenge, adopt mantras to remind yourself what you’re fighting for.

Create Routines

It’s so easy to come home from work, cook dinner, and then plop down on the couch for the rest of the day. But do that every day and not only will the weeks, months, and years fly by, but your well-being will suffer, too.

Instead of waiting for motivation to strike, schedule healthy habits into your day. You may initially find it difficult to follow through, but eventually these routines will feel like second nature. Wake up earlier to start each day with a walk, head to the gym at the same days and times every week, or commit a specific evening to “me” time and hire a babysitter to make it possible. You can even keep yourself motivated by creating a home gym in a spare bedroom or your garage.

Be Accountable

Creating a schedule doesn’t do much good unless you stick to it. Find ways to hold yourself accountable to your new routines. Entrepreneur recommends writing your goals down. Writing things down serves as a visual reminder and makes it so you can’t rewrite history and move goalposts based on your current mood. Track progress by marking on a calendar the days you meet your goals. For added motivation, gamify it by aiming for streaks—consecutive days where you accomplished what you set out to do. When you achieve a new personal best, reward your accomplishment! Sharing your goals with loved ones or adding a buddy to your workout plan is another great way to hold yourself accountable.

Don’t Overdo It

It’s possible to have too much of a good thing. Too much exercise in particular can be dangerous. Not only does pushing yourself too hard or exercising without rest days increase your risk of injury, but it can also get in the way of more important parts of life. When you let exercise dictate your life at the expense of work, relationships, and your own self-worth, you’re at risk of developing an exercise addiction. Learn more about the signs of exercise addiction at Men’s Journal.

Overdoing self-care is harder to recognize. While it’s healthy to prioritize “me” time sometimes, too much time looking inward can be self-destructive. Make sure you’re making time and space in your life for other people and responsibilities in order to cultivate a well-rounded life.

There’s no substitute for self-care. It doesn’t matter how skilled you are at your job, how well-behaved your children are, or how well-appointed your home is—if you’re not caring for your physical and mental health, your well-being will suffer. For success and happiness in the long term, give fitness and self-care a place in your life.

Image via Unsplash

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